Author Archives: Mike Reid

About Mike Reid

Mike Reid has served as a marketing & publishing consultant for Institute for Humane Studies, the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics, the Mercatus Center, and more. Mike loves expressing big ideas with little words, studying audience data, and experimenting with new technologies connecting audiences with messages they care about. His current passion projects are in email marketing.

Prohibition Only Makes Weed Stronger

RhettButler4IOBK Marcus is up in the Freeman this morning, explaining why it’s so hard to get weak weed these days.

Check out “Why Rhett Butler’s Weed is So Strong.”

Prohibition has driven the development of ever-stronger drugs, where a free market would see a proliferation of lighter options.

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Filed under Austrian Economics

Em Dashes and Ellipses in Ebooks

Although we love Chicago Style, just following it slavishly on every detail can produce some ugly results in your digital text.

In general, style guides are stuck in the print era. We have to adapt them for the realities of digital text in general and ebooks in particular. This need to adapt is most obvious in how Chicago treats two commonly overlooked characters: the ellipsis (…) and the em dash (—).

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New Ebook — Separating School and State

SeparatingSchoolAndState-CoverThe Future of Freedom Foundation’s most popular book of all time, the award-winning, best-selling, myth-smashing book Separating School and State is now up for sale as a beautiful, convenient ebook. It’s ready to read on your iPad, your Kindle, or even your desktop.

Here’s what FFF’s Jacob Hornberger had to say:

We recently converted FFF’s book Separating School & State: How to Liberate America’s Families by Sheldon Richman into eBook format. It is available for ordering here in Kindle, iTunes, and Nook. This is a great book! It is FFF’s all-time best-seller. I can’t recommend it too highly.…

It would be difficult to find a better example of a socialistic program than public schooling. The state gets its “customers” through mandate. If parents don’t subject their children to the system, the parents are fined or jailed. If they remain recalcitrant, the state takes away their children. The curriculum is set by the state. The schoolteachers are government employees. The system is funded by taxation.

The results, as most everyone realizes, are abysmal.

At Invisible Order, we’re prouder than a whole pride of lions to be a part of FFF’s new digital releases. The epublishing revolution sets great books flying free — and makes it easier every day to break out of the state’s program of educational imprisonment.

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Will the Nook Gather Dust?

Barnes & Noble is pulling back on its investment in the Nook, its line of tablets and ereader devices.

Throughout 2012, B&N pushed hard to get readers of books hooked on the Nook. But now it looks like it’s conceding that fight. B&N has announced it is going to put the company’s focus on acquiring content (i.e., ebooks) and on signing deals with Microsoft and Samsung for distributing that content. (Note that they don’t mention working with Amazon.)

This is the latest twist in the ongoing battle over who will control the reading habits of the world’s expanding population of avid book consumers. Ereader devices and tablets in the book business have generally been a losing proposition. Even Amazon, the leader in the field, actually makes no profit selling its Kindle hardware. It sells Kindles cheap in order to undercut its competitors and get the public to buy ebooks, where the real money is.

The transition from paper to pixels has been hard on the big publishing companies, but their vicious struggle to outdo one another is an ongoing boon for us: readers, writers, and independent publishers.


Filed under Ebooks, Publishing

Walter Williams Reviews Lincoln Uncensored

wew2010“Now comes Joseph Fallon … with his new e-book, Lincoln Uncensored. Fallon’s book examines 10 volumes of collected writings and speeches of Lincoln’s, which include passages on slavery, secession, equality of blacks and emancipation. We don’t have to rely upon anyone’s interpretation. Just read his words to see what you make of them.”

Read Walter Williams’s full review.

Buy Lincoln Uncensored from or get it free with subscription to the Laissez Faire Club.


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The Stateless Man

I (Mike) will be on the Stateless Man radio show on the Overseas Radio Network Monday at 1:30 pm EST to talk about Idle No More, the huge indigenous protest movement here in Canada, from a libertarian point of view.

If you haven’t checked out the Stateless Man with Fergus Hodgson yet, I suggest you give it a try. Fergus is a libertarian writer and adventurer with fascinating guests every week — including, this week, an Icelandic girl whose name was outlawed by her own government. You can listen in tomorrow via the Overseas Radio Network’s online player.

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Filed under News and Commentary, Nonaggression Anthropology

Rise of the Indigenous Protest Movement: #IdleNoMore and Native Liberty

Right now in Canada, thousands of indigenous people and their supporters are rising in protest against a long train of government abuses. The latest insult is a new federal law that many see as being designed to help crony capitalists rob the indigenous people of their remaining land.

The protest movement is called Idle No More, and it reflects longstanding aboriginal traditions of limiting centralized authority, and relying instead on voluntaryism and polycentrism as organizing principles.

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Filed under News and Commentary, Nonaggression Anthropology

5 of Reason Magazine’s Greatest Interviews in 1 Ebook

coverebookOur latest ebook creation is hitting stores just in time for the holidays: Reason magazine’s collection of their greatest-ever interviews, vol. 1.

This first volume has fascinating conversations with Ronald Reagan, F.A. Hayek, Thomas Szasz, Timothy Leary (yes, the drug visionary), and Christopher Hitchens, complete with illustrations and covers from the original magazine articles.

It’s a beautiful gift for anyone who appreciates a good dialogue. Just follow this link and you can be reading it in minutes.

Merry Christmas!

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Filed under Ebooks

Sustainability vs. Local Knowledge

20121218_SustainabilitythumbA young woman came to my door the other day and told me she was raising money to teach farmers in the Philippines about “sustainable agriculture.” 

“Wow,” I replied, “You must be a major expert for Filipinos to reach out halfway across the world and ask you to come teach them.”

“Oh,” she said, “well, we haven't talked to the Filipinos yet. This is just the money we need to get our organization to the Philippines. Then we'll teach them all about sustainable agriculture.”

This 20-year-old, wearing her paisley bandanna and her hemp necklace, fabulously rich by global standards, is only one of the many idealistic people the West now exports to manage the lives of the global poor.

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Filed under Economics, Nonaggression Anthropology

Capitalism as Epic Rap Battle

Who would win in a rap battle, Adolf Hitler or Darth Vader? Maybe that question hasn’t exactly been gnawing at you, but in the cutthroat emerging market of Internet entertainment, writers, actors, and producers innovate tirelessly to get your attention.

One of the strangest commercial successes to rise from this crucible is the Epic Rap Battles of History, a YouTube musical-comedy series that now has more than 1.8 million subscribers. That’s a block of loyal fans that most TV stations would kill for.

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